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By Epsom Ace | 01 Jan 2013 | KOLKATA

Mr. D Khaitan, Mr. Subir Dasgupta & trainer Vijay Singh leading Adiella (Shailesh Shinde Up), winner of The Kunigal Stud Indian Produce Stakes

It was a New Year’s Day that jockey Shailesh Shinde is unlikely to forget in a hurry. The promising riding star of the Calcutta turf has been knocking on the championship door for sometime now and if he can keep up the tempo, he could very well fulfill that aspiration this season. He has been disciplined enough thus far to maintain a good riding weight of around 50kg and that should help him in securing winning mounts from other leading stables as most of the retained riders are in the ‘middle-weight’ category. Moreover, he has no-nonsense, business-like style of riding where he positions his mount early as per the need of the hour and then rides it flat out in the straight. It may not be spectacular but it gets the job done the best way possible – which is what counts.

Both Adabella and Adiella were ridden in similar fashion while Sreedhan (a recent import from Bombay whose earlier name was Secret Service) was ridden up front. The fact that Aerator (Oath-Liquid Gold) stayed the 2200 metres trip despite a good pace set by Camacho, helped him bag the RCTC Gold Vase – successfully fending off a stiff challenge from top-weight stablemate Abriella after a neck-to-neck battle all the way down the straight. As the runner-up and favourite was shouldering a crushing impost of 62.5kg, it is a debatable point whether C. Alford gave his mount too much to do too late. However, she was marginally ahead near the distance post but it was to Shinde’s credit that he could coax a second wind out of Aerator to post his second triumph of the afternoon. 

The win of Vijay Singh-trained Adiella (available at 7/2) in The Kunigal Stud Indian Produce Stakes was on expected lines. The classy filly by Multidimensional out of Psychic Flame had excelled in a mock race earlier in the season and she ran true to expectations. Shinde kept her a handy second outside tote favourite Gentle Knowledge till the distance post before shooting ahead. He used the stick in his left hand cleverly to keep the maiden-starter galloping at top speed, which is just as well, as the other fancied colt Captain Courageous came at her like a charging bull but fell short narrowly. It was indeed a courageous display and will stand him in good stead in the future.

The day started with speedster Adabella (Multidimensional-Serrafina) picking up the Religare Macquarie Cup effortlessly. Whereas Dashrath Singh had ridden her flat out from the word go in her maiden essay, Shinde allowed early bird Money Maker to call the tune till the straight before sailing clear. The other fancied runners like stablemate Adelino and Gallop To Glory were never in it. Incidentally, her dam Serrafina (Razeen-Passed So Fast) was a top class sprinter at this centre several years ago.

The only winner that Shinde rode outside the Vijay Singh stable was the 5/1 shot Sreedhan  (Razeen-Stolen Kisses) in the Pilan Gems and Jewellery Cup. The Patrick Quinn ward was given a free rein from the word go and he did not disappoint. Heavily backed Haddock had his chances but failed to match strides with the winner.

Trainer Quinn completed a double when his speedy Royal Honour (Hymn-Casanova Green) brought the curtain down by making every post a winning one in the hands of able apprentice Zarar Alam. Both Torch Of Life and Signor Sassi tried their utmost but failed to catch the front-runner.

The on-money public choice Snowscape (China Visit-Snow Tiger) won the Pailan Poto Cup with a fair degree of comfort from Beyond Stars. Christopher Alford atop the Vijay Singh runner opted for the rails before drawing away from the eventual runner-up.

Vikash Jaiswal’s six-year-old Ocean Clipper (Ontario – Scarborough) was the day’s biggest outsider as she came with a late challenge to pocket the lower division of the Pailan Diamond Cup in a blanket finish. The winner was piloted by sibling Vinay Jaiswal. The other impressive runners were Rithambhra and Elusive Thought while the favourite Hurricane Bird ran well below par. The upper division of the same race was won by Pesi Shroff-trained Ximena (Elusive City-Zahwah) without much ado. The 18/10 favourite faced interference in her last essay and was given a copybook ride on this occasion by Parmar.

Recent Import Legends Order (Diffident – Lawn Order) caused a major upset in the Pailan Film and Television Institute Cup. The six-year-old from Manvendra Singh’s yard put paid to the pretensions of the good looking grey colt Rembrandt who appeared to have the race in the bag at the distance post but came to a standstill 100 metres from home. The top-weight winner was piloted by Trevor Patel in his inimitable, opportunistic style.

At the end of the day, a beaming totalisator manager of RCTC confirmed that the afternoon’s picking were an all time record. Let’s wait and see if the Derby  Day, less than a fortnight from now, can break that record.